Great Lakes successfully completed a major upgrade to the river boat loader conveyor in 2020 for a national mining manufacturing facility along the Cuyahoga River. On the tail end of the successful project completion, Great Lakes was once again called upon to oversee a complete retrofit of their cargo dock. At the conclusion of this important upgrade, the manufacturer will be able to efficiently transport finished product out of the facility by rail, truck, or boat. As the primary method of distribution is utilizing cargo freighters on the Great Lakes, these two most recent upgrades will maximize overall facility efficiency.
The strong relationship built on collaboration has enabled the owner and Great Lakes to overcome many challenges ensuring plant production continues safely and efficiently while completing the project on a fast-path schedule. The scope for the Cargo Dock Replacement Project includes the installation of a new 700-foot-long sheet pile bulkhead wall with a reinforced concrete pile cap, encapsulated rock anchor tiebacks, flowable fill of the void underneath the existing dock, and removal and replacement of the existing surface deck.
Winter is the period when lake operations are suspended. Great Lakes was tasked with assembling a marine fleet (with ice breaking capabilities) and providing a skilled workforce with the ability to overcome the harsh Cleveland winter weather, allowing resumption of marine operations by the first week of April 2022. During this 3-month period, Great Lakes coordinated a 4-barge marine fleet installing the sheet pile followed by tie-backs and waler installations.
Once barge traffic operations resumed, the next major phase was the stabilization of the working dock surface. A massive void existed behind the new bulkhead and under the existing dock which needed to be filled to return the dock to plant use. Great Lakes’ crews installed over 20,000 CY of flowable fill material, with most of it being placed during extended night shifts in order to continue regular plant manufacturing during the day. Great Lakes utilized multiple batch plants and a combination of concrete pump trucks to place up to 2,000 CY of flowable fill per night. Once the cargo dock was stabilized, work began on the new reinforced concrete cap that is installed on top of the sheet pile bulkhead. The 700-foot long and 1,000 CY bulkhead cap installation will continue through the summer months to ensure the fully upgraded facility will be complete in fall 2022.